#5 FAY DAN was given the “Circle and Squares” look on March 18 with the EX – EXCUSE earlier this season. In that March 18 race, he was returning to a route of ground from the Feb. 27 sprint and projected to show more tactical speed on the day. He had legit trouble at the start (TROUBLE_S), unable to establish that forward position, and was ultimately allowed to ease up out of the race. He will return under similar conditions, with a live rider change and a pair of solid half-mile works for this return. He is capable of tracking the pacesetters, #6 LUCKS BIG BOY and #8 HELIOCHROME, the Quad I Circles, with Fay Dan listed as an EP RunStyle. He is upgraded on Surface/Distance shifting to a Square and that position and RunStyle could allow Fay Dan the trip and first run on rivals, #1 KNIEVEL and #7 CHASE TRACKER.
#4 BUMPER POOL is worth a mention in this event as well. He is not shown on the Surface/Distance Plot (Diamond – lack of data) as this will be his route debut. The OptixNOTES suggest that he can handle today’s distance (ROUTER), as shown in the Past 3 Runlines. The hurdle here should not be distance, rather class, as he will be taking on older and open company. His OptixFIG show progression race-to-race, and another move forward could be projected, and required to compete here.
#1 BON DEUX will return to make his second start of a BTL – Better Than Looked run and fifth place finish on debut. He earned a competitive B- OptixGRADE for that effort and an OptixFIG not far off some others in this field. The class change is subtle with that $10k maiden claiming purse of $29k similar to today’s. #9 GOBLIN also could be flying under the radar off his debut and sixth-place finish on April 22. The effort for Goblin was also BTL with the B- OptixGRADE for the overall effort. He must improve off the slow start (SLOG), a requirement for his stablemate #8 LITTLE FRAPPUCINO as well. As shown on Surface/Distance, Little Frappucino has enough tactical speed (Quad I) and finishing ability (Square) to sit with the first flight and get the trip.
#2 LOYAL TO THE GAME projects to be favored in this race for Steve Asmussen with the class drop and returning to a sprint from the April 7 race. Those changes should benefit him as he was overmatched in that event; however, he was running under similar conditions earlier this year at Fair Grounds and came up short of a winning effort (below B OptixGRADE) without excuse. The Timothy Martin pair of #5 MR FROST and #6 ARISTOCAT, with their Quad I presence, could make things tougher for Loyal to the Game in terms of trip as well.
#3 JOAN’S JUNIOR could also show speed as he makes his debut here under Alex Canchari for trainer Don Von Hemel. This one was on track to debut earlier in the meet, and with some gaps in the workout times could have had some subtle setbacks. The barn is capable with debut runners and has been live in the last 45 days with a record of two wins, two place and a show with seven starters.